From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Overseas partners set for GA adventure

Date 15 Jun 2002 17:10:37 -0400

Note #7222 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Overseas partners set for GA adventure
June 15, 2002

Overseas partners set for GA adventure

by Emily Enders Odom

COLUMBUS, OH -"Bienvenidos," the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), said in greeting nearly 25 ecumenical representatives, visitors and advisory delegates who gathered for a festive breakfast and orientation on June 15.

	After offering greetings in several languages and identifying himself as "a man of many tongues," Kirkpatrick was quick to add: "With only a few words in each."

	Interpreters' voices were heard around the breakfast tables as staff members from the Worldwide Ministries Division (WMD) ensured that the orientation provided by WMD's Department of Ecumenical and Agency Relations was understood. 
The ecumenical church partners, a number of whom are first-time visitors to the United States, were fully oriented to Assembly process and the major issues on the agenda.

	Kirkpatrick, who said his "heart, life and experience are in the church's global and ecumenical mission," expressed gratitude to God for the church around the world. "As Presbyterians, we are but one splinter of the church of Jesus Christ," he said, inviting the visitors to be actively engaged in the GA's business.

The Rev. Thomas Hennefeld, an ecumenical advisory delegate representing the Reformed Church in Austria, drew a deep breath as he contemplated the GA docket. Anticipating the Friday session when he is scheduled to convey greetings from his denomination, he said his remarks were carefully drafted.

When offered access to an interpreter, Hennefeld, a pastor from Vienna, said with a smile, "I shall be happy to speak English." 
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